Harris: Unpopular positions part of being attorney general

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris defended positions she took as California's attorney general that are unpopular with some Democrats, saying they reflected her duty as the state's top law enforcement officer.

During a CNN town hall-style event last night at Drake University, Harris was asked about prosecuting death penalty cases as well as legislation in California to require her office to investigate all police-related fatal shootings.

Harris, who was attorney general from 2011 until she took office as a U.S. senator in 2017, said she enforced the death penalty despite opposing it.

In answering student Riley Fink's question in the school's Sheslow Auditorium in Des Moines she said “it's a flawed system. It is applied unequally based on race and based on income." Harris said she chose not to take a public position on the fatal shootings legislation in 2015 because her office would write the law and enforce it. She did say at the time, however, that she didn’t support the notion of superseding local prosecutors.

Fatal shootings by police of unarmed black men have become a rallying point among a swath of Democratic-leaning voters.


Dawn Kamber